Sharpe, Richard, “Seán Ó Cléirigh and his manuscripts”, in: Pádraic Moran, and Immo Warntjes (eds), Early medieval Ireland and Europe: chronology, contacts, scholarship. A Festschrift for Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, 14, Turnhout: Brepols, 2015. 645–670.

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Citation details
“Seán Ó Cléirigh and his manuscripts”
Abstract (cited)
Seán Ó Cléirigh (†1846) was fifth in descent from Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh (†1665), one of the Four Masters, and in 1817 he brought to Dublin five manuscripts in the hand of or in one case merely owned by his ancestor and sold them. During the 1840s different stories circulated about this transaction, put on record by Eugene O’Curry and John O’Donovan, and this paper draws together the evidence that shows, for the first time, that Ó Cleirigh sold manuscripts to three different buyers, Edward O’Reilly, William Monck Mason, and Patrick Lynch. All survive, but one was split into parts at the time of the sales. The increase in prices during the 1830s and 1840s appears to have led Seán Ó Cléirigh to argue that these manuscripts had not been sold but merely lent to Edward O’Reilly.
Subjects and topics
History, society and culture
Patrick Lynch [d. 1818]Lynch (Patrick) ... d. 1818
Ó Loingsigh (Pádraig) ... d. 1818
Irish schoolmaster, private tutor, author and editor.
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William Monck MasonMason (William Monck)
Irish historian
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Seán Ó Cléirigh [d. 1846]Ó Cléirigh (Seán) ... d. 1846
Seán (or John) Ó Cleirigh, Irish scribe who could probably claim descent from certain illustrious scholars of the Uí Chléirigh, even if his own testimony seems fuzzy and inconsistent. He appears to have had, perhaps inherited, an unknown number of Irish manuscripts written by or associated with Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, five of which he brought to Dublin in 1817.
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Edward O'ReillyO'Reilly (Edward)
(d. 1830)
Irish scholar and compiler of an Irish-English dictionary (1817)
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Dennis Groenewegen
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September 2018, last updated: December 2020